Projects are undertaken because they are part of a plan to meet business needs and help to grow organization at higher levels. However, projects are constrained by incompatible demands and inconsistent supply of the organization within the project environment. Neglecting such constraints to a manager will result in poor performance of the organization even if the project is carried under the highly skilled employees ( Wyngaard, Pretorius & Pretorius, 2012). This assignment aims to broaden the understanding of the triple constraint, its dynamics, and how it helps in implementing in day to day management.
The triple constraint, also known by the project management triangle or iron triangle, the concept is mainly used by managers to access the difficulties that may arise due to executing the project (Haugan, 2016). All projects will face constraints during its execution irrespective of its size of the operation. Although many barriers are being faced by the organization but time, scope and money constraints should not be the major reason for the successful execution of the project.
The concept of triple constraints contends to the quality of work is limited by budget, time, and feature of the project, trade between constraints by project managers, and change in one constraint affecting changes in others (Caccamese & Bragantini, 2013).
There are three interdependent constraints for every project that is time, cost, and scope.
TIME: Time is an important factor, which may take a longer period or a shorter period for any project's activities hence concluded as an irrepressible (Balshoej Ebbesen & J Hope, 2013). Failure to meet those deadlines in a project can create adverse effects, in most cases, the organization fails to achieve success. Due completion of the task depends on various factors such as the skills and expertise of the employee and the number of the employee assigned in a task. Time constraints are often under-calculated which results in changes in either scope or cost of the project or some cases both (Wright & Lawlor-Wright, 2018).
SCOPE: Scope refers to the final result that is aimed to achieve. It is a fundamental part of the triangle, which tests the managers' ability to balance the scope of the project with the other two components by giving precise predictions to the managers. The organizations and clients make predictions of those desired scopes and can make further adjustments in time and cost by comparing with previous work which may affect the desired scope. The integral part of successfully managing the project is the scope to establish trust and visibility (Wright & Lawlor-Wright, 2018)
COST: It is vital for project managers and the organization to have a proposed cost planned when starting a project. Cost predictions ensure managers that the project is developed under a certain cost and sets the limit for the organization to spend on a particular project. As explained by Tinoco, Sato and Hasan (2016), the cost for the project can be affected by certain reasons such as, increase in supplier's pricing, additional requirements for the project to complete, foreign exchange fluctuation for international projects, additional recruitment costs for specialized staff, technological requirements and any changes in costing directly lead to the impact of the project meeting its expectation regarding time and scope.
QUALITY: Quality is not considered under triple constraint, it is the ultimate objective of every project manager to achieve for project delivery. Hence quality is an integral part of the triangle. There has a common notion "high quality requires high cost" which are proven correct under certain projects. Like scope time and cost, quality is an important factor for delivering the project and the managers must be aware of these factors in order to deliver quality products and services (Wright & Lawlor-Wright, 2018).
The triple constraint emphasizes the due delivery of the quality project concerning time, scope, and cost constraints. There are many additional factors for good project management which need due focus such as project environment, the establishment of communication channels, and constancy (Kerzer, 2014). Through the detailed analysis key takeaways for successful completion of IT managers are, always break the process of the task into user stories and epics, write down scenarios, and always specify the acceptance criteria for the project. Secondly, always leverage on a quality check before submitting the project and ensure approval of the quality analyst and development team regarding the smooth running of the project. Third, always opt for the implementation of the Gantt chart which helps in recording project timelines and Burndown chart which helps the managers to eye on the budget pulse and helps in controlling. And lastly always understand the client’s requirement and always get approval and feedback in case of any bug being found (Kerzer, 2014).
Over the last few decades, the issue of triple constraint has been debated widely. Issue related what constitute success of a project has always been questioned and many theorists have offered their interpretations. Project management is often represented in a triangle where these three factors are interdepended in deciding the success and quality of the project. There are many tools and techniques available for managers to keep regular check on these three constraints, yet a successful organisation will keep a healthy balance of dependency on automation tools and manual work. The report presented an in-depth analysis on the triple constraints and what are the lessons for IT professionals for incorporating these management practices in their organizations. What more is needed that these factors does not decide the success of the project, it lacks the environment of the projects, type and number of workforce and many more variables to decide the fate of a project.
Balshoej Ebbesen, J., & J Hope, A. (2013). Re-imagining the Iron Triangle: Embedding Sustainability into Project Constraints. PM World Journal, 2(3), 10-21.
Caccamese, A., & Bragantini, D. (2013). Beyond the iron triangle. PMI® Global Congress . Marsailles, France: Project Management Institute.
Haugan, G. (2016). The New Triple Constraints for Sustainable Projects, Programs, and Portfolios. New York: CRC Press.
Kaplan, R. S. & Norton D. P. (2016) The balanced scorecard. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.
Kerzner, H. (2014). Project management: A systems approach to planning, scheduling and controlling (10th ed.). New York: John Wiley & Sons.
Tinoco, R., Sato, C., Hasan, R. (2016). Responsible Project Management: Beyond the triple constraints. The Journal of Modern Project Management,4(1), 5-12.
Wright, A., & Lawlor-Wright, T. (2018). Project Success and Quality Balancing the Iron Triangle. London: Taylor & Francis.
Wyngaard , C. V., Pretorius, J., & Pretorius, L. (2012). Theory of the triple constraint — A conceptual review. 2012 IEEE International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management. Hong Kong: IEEE.
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